Klopp defends Liverpool from power grab accusation

AFP , Friday 16 Oct 2020

Jurgen Klopp defended Liverpool's role in controversial plans to reform English football AFP

Jurgen Klopp insisted those behind controversial plans to reform English football were interested in the general health of the game, rather than a power grab.

The "Project Big Picture proposals", backed by Liverpool owner John Henry and Manchester United, were rejected this week by Premier League clubs, with fears the 'big six' would hold too much power under the plan.

Instead, the English top-flight has agreed to a collective "strategic plan for the future structures and financing of English football".

Many lower league clubs face going to the wall in the coming months with no fans allowed into stadiums due to coronavirus restrictions.

However, a £50 million ($64 million) rescue package for League One and League Two from Premier League clubs has been rejected by the English Football League (EFL) as Championship clubs have so far not been offered extra funds.

"A lot of times in life there needs to be a crisis to start talking," said Klopp on Friday.

"I think it is really important because I can't remember the last time that we speak about something like this, about the space for improvement within professional football.

"I was not involved, I was informed from a specific moment on. What I can say is that all the people I know involved are concerned about football, yes about Liverpool, but about football in general.

"That was their intention, so now other people can make of it what they want. If you want to understand it, the idea behind it (you will), if you don't want to, you just knock it down.

"I think when the process keeps on going that people are talking about it, it is very good."

On the field, Liverpool have had to wait two weeks to try to bounce back from a historic 7-2 humiliation as Aston Villa before the international break.

The English champions travel to top-of-the-table Everton on Saturday, with Carlo Ancelotti's men hoping to win a Merseyside derby for the first time in 10 years.

Klopp admitted he knew the Toffees would become a "proper challenge" once Ancelotti was appointed 10 months ago.

But the summer signings of Allan, Abdoulaye Doucoure and James Rodriguez have transformed the mood around Everton.

"It's pretty clear they did some good business and Carlo is a sensational manager," added Klopp.

"It was always clear that when he has time to build something he will do that. That's what he did, this team looks really, really good.

"I would like to say something different but it is not possible."

Liverpool will be able to welcome back Sadio Mane and Thiago Alcantara from coronavirus infections, but goalkeeper Alisson Becker remains sidelined by a shoulder injury.

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